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Group of five foreign nationals released after entering Key West Navy base

The United Street entrance to the Naval Air Station Key West Truman Annex (U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. Michael Kutyba/WikiCommons)

A group of five “foreign nationals” was briefly detained after entering the Truman Annex of Naval Air Station Key West early Wednesday morning, according to the Navy.

Federal agents initially suspected they were trespassing on the base, but they released them by noon after being unable to reach that conclusion, Navy spokeswoman Danette Baso Silvers said.

They were interviewed by agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and each of them was issued a federal magistrate summons, which means they either pay a $250 fine or argue their case in court, Baso Silvers said.

The government is not releasing their nationalities, but Silvers said everyone in the group is in the country legally. They do not live in Key West, she said.

According to Baso Silvers, they entered the base through the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park side of the complex around 7 a.m. and left moments later. They were taken into custody by Key West police when they exited the base.

After NCIS agents interviewed the members of the group, the agents had no reason to conclude they intentionally entered the base, Baso Silvers said.

Truman is one of the Navy’s seven annexes spread across the Lower Keys. The bases include nearly 30 miles of shoreline.

Since the fall of 2018, four Chinese nationals have been arrested on charges of taking photographs of military facilities in Key West.

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